UEFA confirm charges against Bulgaria and England after night of racist shame – The News

UEFA confirm charges against Bulgaria and England after night of racist shame – The News

 UEFA have confirmed four charges against the Bulgaria Football Union following the appalling scenes during last night’s Euro 2020 qualifier  But the FA have also been hit with two charges themselves by European football’s governing body  England players, including debutant Tyrone Mings and two-goal star Raheem Sterling, were racially abused during the match, while Bulgaria fans also made Nazi Salutes  Aston Villa defender Mings could be heard calling to an official “Hey, did you hear that?” after monkey chants were made in his direction  Twice during the first half the match was stopped and an announcement in Bulgarian and English warning that the game could be “suspended or abandoned” was met with jeers and booing from home supporters At half-time Bulgaria captain Ivelin Popov pleaded with a section of the home support to stop the abuse  England chiefs called on UEFA officials to launch a full investigation following the match and now UEFA have confirmed charges – against both national governing bodies    The Bulgaria FA have been charged over the ‘Racist behaviour’ of their fans.  They have also been hit after supporters threw objects and disrupted the national anthem They’ve also been charged for showing replays on the big screen at the stadium.  The English FA have been hit with two charges, after fans booed the national anthem and for an “insufficient number of travelling stewards ”  A UEFA statement confirmed: “Disciplinary proceedings have been opened following the UEFA European Qualifiers match between Bulgaria and England (0-6), played on 14 October   Charges against Bulgarian Football Union:  – Racist behaviour (chants, Nazi salutes) – Art 14 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR)  – Throwing of objects – Art. 16 (2) (b) DR  – Disruption of national anthem – Art 16 (2) (g) DR  – Replays on giant screen – Art. 42 of the UEFA Safety and Security Regulations   Charges against English Football Association:  – Disruption of national anthem – Art 16 (2) DR  – Insufficient number of travelling stewards – Art. 24 (2) of the UEFA Safety and Security Regulations   The case will be dealt with by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body with the date of the meeting yet to be confirmed ”  An FA spokesperson said: “We acknowledge the charges but will not be commenting further as it is an ongoing process ”  UEFA have been heavily criticised for what occurred in Sofia on Monday night, having previously handed out tame sanctions to the Bulgarian FA following racist actions from supporters at matches  The Vasil Levski National Stadium was already operating at a reduced capacity after UEFA ordered a section of 5,000 seats to be closed after fans were found guilty of racist behaviour during their June qualifiers against Kosovo and the Czech Republic   Mings explained post-game that he first heard the chants during the warm-up.  “I heard it before I even got to the other side of the pitch for the warm up,” Mings said “We then spoke about it when we came in after the warm up and, obviously, I don’t need to spell it out  “I think everybody heard the chants, but we stood together and we made certain decisions ”  Earlier on Tuesday, had released a statement in which he vowed to ‘eliminate the disease of racism’  Ceferin, who also defended UEFA’s approach to fighting racism, declared: “There were times, not long ago, when the football family thought that the scourge of racism was a distant memory The last couple of years have taught us that such thinking was, at best, complacent  “The rise of nationalism across the continent has fuelled some unacceptable behaviour and some have taken it upon themselves to think that a football crowd is the right place to give voice to their appalling views  “As a governing body, I know we are not going to win any popularity contests. But some of the views expressed about UEFA’s approach to fighting racism have been a long way off the mark  “UEFA, in close cooperation with the FARE network (Football Against Racism Europe), instituted the three-stage protocol for identifying and tackling racist behaviour during games Read More England suffer racist abuse in Bulgaria  “UEFA’s sanctions are among the toughest in sport for clubs and associations whose supporters are racist at our matches The minimum sanction is a partial closure of the stadium – a move which costs the hosts at least hundreds of thousands in lost revenue and attaches a stigma to their supporters  “UEFA is the only football body to ban a player for ten matches for racist behaviour – the most severe punishment level in the game  “Believe me, UEFA is committed to doing everything it can to eliminate this disease from football We cannot afford to be content with this; we must always strive to strengthen our resolve  More broadly, the football family – everyone from administrators to players, coaches and fans – needs to work with governments and NGOs to wage war on the racists and to marginalise their abhorrent views to the fringes of society  “Football associations themselves cannot solve this problem. Governments too need to do more in this area  “Only by working together in the name of decency and honour will we make progress ” Timeline of events on night of shame  Pre-match warm-up: Tyrone Mings hears racist abuse from the stands for the first time  22 mins: Mings hears a monkey chant, turns to an assistant referee and says: “Did you hear that?”  27 mins: Game stopped for the first time Captain Harry Kane discusses the abuse with referee Ivan Bebek.  29 mins: Stadium PA calls for an end to the racist taunts – Step one of the three-step protocol  31 mins: Match restarts  42 mins: Gareth Southgate makes a complaint to the fourth official and the game is stopped for the second time  43 mins: A large group of Bulgarian fans, who had been seen chanting and making Nazi salutes leave the stand England agree to restart the game as it is so close to half-time.  Half-time: Southgate speaks with officals in the tunnel while Bulgaria captain Ivelin Popov pleads with home fans to stop the abuse England players agree unanimously to return for the second half.  Second-half: Sporadic monkey chants but game continues with no further stoppages  Post-match: Bulgaria manager Krasimir Balakov declares: “I didn’t hear anything If this is true we have to be ashamed and we have to apologise but it has to be proven to be true ”

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